The landmark ruling by the state Supreme Court ordering city governments to disclose the salaries of their employees resulted Friday in the release of salary data by San Jose, the Mercury News reports today. San Jose was one of several cities that decided to withhold such information after San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Rosemary Pfeiffer ruled in 2003 that the Palo Alto Daily News was not entitled to receive a list of salaries paid by five city governments. Her ruling sparked a legal battle that culminated in Monday’s ruling in a case brought by the Contra Costa Times against Oakland. Oakland had been withholding salary data based on the precedent set by Pfeiffer’s decision.
The Merc and other MediaNews papers sent identical requests to other local governments after Monday’s ruling, including Santa Clara County and the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Fremont. The Merc said none of those cities had produced the records by Friday, and most were calculating what they planned to charge for the information, which San Jose provided for free. Santa Clara County, for example, plans to charge $1,760 for the information.